Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
A proposal on how to stop the spread of Islam in the U.S., suggested from the floor at WND’s “Taking America Back” conference in Miami, Fla., stirred a rousing response from the audience but received an even more impassioned reply from the platform.
“I propose a moratorium on Islamic immigration and mosque construction in the U.S.,” an unidentified attendee suggested during a panel discussion on Islam, “until the Quran is scrubbed of its passages that are incompatible with our Constitution.”
The audience responded in spontaneous applause.
But the panel on stage gave a surprising response that quickly made the audience rethink its enthusiasm.
“The moratorium would be forever,” stated William Murray, chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, warning the audience that asking Muslims to scrub their scriptures was unreasonable.
Keynote speaker Alan Keyes took admonition of the audience one step further.
“One word of caution,” Keyes said. “We get into a defensive position as Americans because we have forgotten our own roots.”
Reminding those assembled for his speech the night before – in which he contended America owes its liberties, prosperity, rights and democratic republic government under the Constitution to dependence upon and submission to God as declared in the Declaration of Independence – Keyes asserted that any immigrants of any faith who come to America’s shores should find a land brimming with irresistible, life-changing freedom, enabled by the principles of Christianity.
“If we’re in a situation where we’re afraid to have Muslims come to our nation,” Keyes stated, “it is because we have forgotten that when they get here they’re supposed to find a society based upon God.”
He continued, “The U.S. is not a fortress intended to put up battlements around a Christian enclave. Christianity’s message is to spread the gospel, not contain it. … We shouldn’t be afraid, we should be eager. It would save us the trouble of having to go over there to evangelize them. That’s the spirit that founded this country in the first place.”
With the audience visibly stirred by his challenge, Keyes gave a final, impassioned point:
“I think we’ve become timid, cowards. We’ll hide faith under a bushel?” he asked. “I don’t think that’s the road I want to go down.”
Applause erupted from his listeners again, this time even louder than before.